Questions From Readers
● Why does 1 Chronicles 2:13-15 speak of the seven sons of Jesse, whereas First Samuel refers to David as the eighth?
The Bible account at 1 Chronicles 2:13-15 says that “Jesse, in turn, became father to his first-born Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, David the seventh.” The account at 1 Samuel 16:10, 11 says: “So Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel; still Samuel said to Jesse: ‘Jehovah has not chosen these.’ Finally Samuel said to Jesse: ‘Are these all the boys?’ To this he said: ‘The youngest one has till now been left out, and, look! he is pasturing the sheep.’” In the next chapter of 1 Samuel, 17 verse 12, the account reads: “Now David was the son of this Ephrathite from Bethlehem of Judah whose name was Jesse. And he had eight sons.”
It appears from these accounts that one of those sons shown to Samuel did not live long enough to marry and have children, in consequence of which his name was omitted at 1 Chronicles 2, which gives the genealogy of Jesse and others. It is well to remember that First Samuel was written by Samuel, Gad and Nathan and was completed about 1077 B.C.E. Chronicles, however, was written by the priest Ezra about 460 B.C.E. When writing 1 Chronicles 2:13-15, Ezra left out the name of the son of Jesse who evidently had died childless.
● What did Thomas mean when he said, as recorded at John 11:16, “Let us also go, that we may die with him”?
Just before the apostle Thomas spoke those words, Jesus Christ had stated that Lazarus had died, and he said: “I rejoice on your account that I was not there, in order for you to believe. But let us go to him.” (John 11:15) Thomas now spoke up: “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Thomas said this with reference to Jesus, not the dead Lazarus. He spoke as he did because he expected that if Jesus went into Judea to Bethany, where the dead Lazarus was, he would surely be killed. Thomas knew the murderous intent of the hostile Jews. This is indicated by Joh 11 verse eight of that same chapter: “The disciples said to him: ‘Rabbi, just lately the Judeans were seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?’” So Thomas’ words have reference to Jesus—not to Jesus’ being impaled on a stake at the hands of the Romans, but to Jesus’ probably being mobbed or stoned to death by the opposing Jews. So Thomas was saying that Jesus’ disciples should also go with him and die with him.